Hohenschönhausen Memorial

Berlin/2009  –  2013

The former Stasi (East German secret police) prison Berlin Hohenschönhausen was a place of persecution and suffering for over 40 years. The authentic building and its history were the starting point of all considerations when transforming it into a memorial. The place itself – the medium of history – and the documentation and exhibition part needed to be strictly separated from one another. The crimes committed there over the decades are irrevocably connected to the authentic architecture. The transformation process does therefore not touch the historic place. All architectural and museological measures are executed in a way that respects the memory of the victims. The structural changes that were done over the course of time are all kept. They are displayed as a part of the place’s history. The unavoidable architectural interventions keep a distance to the original building, and so does the exhibition. Audio and graphic information are superimposed over the historic building without changing it, thus showing the difference between the authentic and the new, and simultaneously revealing the history of the place to the visitors.